Regular readers may have noticed I have written posts about Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming and his Leeming LUT Pro look-up tables for top-quality video production for some years, so I will not repeat any of that here right now, save to say that Mr Leeming’s LUT sets are currently the best and they continue to become even better with every new version.
As Paul recently wrote in his Facebook Group page (edits applied by me):
… I’ve spent the last six months developing a new methodology to make these the most accurate LUTs ever. That methodology, which takes into account all the edge cases I’ve seen here (S-Log2 gamut issues, green tints etc), is now being applied to all cameras.
Like a fine wine, it takes time, because I have set stupidly high standards for myself. I want these LUTs to be the be-all and end-all of accuracy. And honestly, with Athena and Pro II, I’m done for accuracy. There’s nowhere else to go.
Athena is my new go-to for actual work, since it’s a brighter starting point with a gentle S-curve built in, so that I can simply apply it and get to work colour grading creatively. But Pro II remains as the no holds barred Rec. 709 standard, bang-on for luma and colorimetry, baseline LUT.
My long term goal is to get all cameras upgraded, then move to some really high end Super Quickie packs based on the Athena series as the base. These will probably be paid, but it won’t be much, maybe 5-10 EUR. But they’ll be perfectly harmonised for Athena and fit like a glove.
Then I also want to provide Rec. 2020 LUTs for all cameras, but to do that I need a Rec. 2020 setup, so I’m waiting on the release of the LG CX 48″ TV / monitor, which will be Rec. 2020 compatible and OLED for perfect colorimetry and luma….
… [I] forgot to mention all the NEW cameras that will be added to the inventory too, like the original Mavic Pro, the Phantom 4 Pro, etc.
I have just downloaded the Leeming LUT Pro set for Fujifilm X Series, comprising the F-Log, Eterna Cinema, Pro Neg Std and HLG for Rec.709 LUTs, and am looking forward to shooting some fresh footage with F-Log in particular to try this latest version out.
I am also looking forward to the coming updates of the Leeming LUT Pro set for Panasonic G Series cameras.
“… I first started DELUTS in 2015 after years gathering look profiles that I have generated for film projects. I decided to share these and have tried to build upon this offering creative looks for Video and now for Lightroom & Photoshop using the new Profile system in CC 2018 versions.
The DELUTS Universe set was born after nearly 2 years building the back bone of the system. If you just need looks to go over the top of footage that you have already balanced, then thats the DELUTS Overlook set is a great place to start. If you are working with images and want the look of DELUTS with RAW, TIF, JPEG etc then the new DELUTS Lightroom ACR Looks is the one to use. I have offers when purchasing 2 certain sets. The DELUTS Lightroom ACR Looks & DELUTS OVERLOOK are a great match for video and stills.”
“Apple has now released a new update for its flagship music recording software, Logic Pro X. While we are getting a very long list of minor tweaks and enhancements here, version 10.4 is bringing some major new features to the table along with some serious gear in the way vintage EQ emulation, new orchestral instruments, a pair of multi-effect plug-ins and hundreds of new sounds.…”
Apple’s affordable though high-end sound and visuals post-production software suites, Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, have been given some impressive updates recently with the former gaining pro-quality colour grading features while the latter has received plenty of music-oriented improvements and content.
Now the stage is set for Apple to introduce some really big, long-needed improvements in its audio-editing and sound design capacity to equal or surpass the credible threat rendered by Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 and its built-in Fairlight Audio page tools obtained as the result of the purchase of the legendary Fairlight audio and video hardware and software company.
Apple’s two separate post-production suites need to be made to work together in a far closer, far more intuitive way than they do at the moment to the degree that it would be unthinkable to use one without the other.
Let us hope that Apple has some pleasant surprises up its sleeves this year, but not too late in the year as Blackmagic Design is already roaring ahead with full audio integration in the free and paid-for versions of DaVinci Resolve 14.
digitalfilms, a blog by Oliver Peters – Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.4 – “The hope for an enhanced, roles-based audio mixer has once again gone unanswered. On the other hand, the built-in audio plug-ins have been updated to those used by Logic Pro X and there’s a clean path to send your audio to Logic if you want to mix there.”
digitalfilms, a blog by Oliver Peters – Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 14 – “But is that enough to sway loyal Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, or Media Composer editors to switch?… I wouldn’t be surprised to hear news of a TV show or small feature film being edited with Resolve in the coming year.”
“… In his presentation at the FCP X World event at IBC, Roger Bolton from Coremelt demonstrated how you can accelerate grading, enhance client presentations and get great results quickly using the Chromatic grading tool….”
CoreMelt – Chromatic – “Chromatic is the most complete and flexible grading plugin for Final Cut Pro X. Featuring integrated mask tracking with the Academy Award wining mocha tracker, powerful color keying, full RGB and HSL curves, three way colors wheels, auto white balance, exposure and color temperature. Unlike other solutions, in Chromatic all these functions and more are available in one powerful product.”
Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has released version 501 of his groundbreaking Leeming LUT One camera profile 3D LUT for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Super 16/Micro Four Thirds camera in three flavours based on which picture profile your footage is shot with – Cinelike D, HLG or V-Log L.
Mr Leeming chose the GH5 as his benchmark camera and will be updating other Leeming LUT One camera profile 3D LUTs soon, enabling cinematographers using a range of cameras to start “with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading”.
Users of previous versions of Leeming LUT One may notice a change in the behaviour of version 501 when applying it to old footage, resulting in a darker rendition:
The new philosophy is zero brightness shift in the LUT itself, so the only shift is to the colour values. At first this may seem like the LUT is not doing anything, but watch skin tones in particular when you apply it and you’ll see the difference. Of course the other colours are fixed too, but skin is where you’ll see it most easily as it’s a pretty obvious shift from yellow to skin tone.
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Lumix GH5 and X-Rite Color Checkers
Leeming LUT Quickies, a set of free looks LUTs, will also be updated to work better with Leeming LUT One version 501 but in the meantime Mr Leeming advises using the current version at “40% intensity (or gain)”.
Given the colour science characteristics shared by current top end Panasonic Lumix cameras such as the GH5, GH4 and GX8, it appears possible to apply Leeming LUT One to all three cameras to obtain similar colour grading starting points.
I will be putting Leeming LUT One 501 for the GH5 to the test on GH4 and GX8 Cinelike D (aka Cine-D) footage over the coming days, but my early tests using a late beta of 501 showed marked improvements over previous full versions of Leeming LUT One.
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Lumix GH5, HLG, Before and After
While HLG HDR 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 production and post-production are not fully supported by current hardware and software, the wisdom of future-proofing your work has been borne out many times in recent years starting with the move to 1080p and then 4K.
Mr Leeming and Leeming LUT One version 501 for GH5 users have reported anomalies in various non-linear editors and colour grading plug-ins when applying the LUT to HLG footage, and testing is currently under way to work out optimal software and workflows.
As with any radical advance in video production and postproduction, software needs to catch up with the capabilities of new hardware and this is no exception.
The advantages of HLG HDR may persuade movie and TV show makers to adopt it as their new default standard when it is fully supported.
Mr Leeming reports that:
My new favourite profile is Hybrid Log Gamma. It uses more of the 10 bit space than V-LogL, and has just as much dynamic range as far as I can see.
It also has slightly more accurate tonal density response (the relationship between colour and saturation/luma levels).
Best of all, it’s a free profile in camera, instead of a $100 activation code sent half way across the world….
Only down side is it’s not available in 8 bit, but for that, we can continue to use old faithful, Cine-D.
Roger Bolton of Final Cut Pro X plug-in maker CoreMelt has been sent Leeming LUT One to test it in his recent-released high-end colour grading and LUT application plug-in for FCPX, Chromatic, and I look forward to his report with interest.
Other such colour grading and LUT application software seems to be having problems with HLG footage.
Meanwhile Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio colour grading and non-linear editing software is reported to be handling the GH5’s 10-bit HLG HDR footage well and readers are encouraged to download the free version or invest in the paid version if they have not already done so.
Blackmagic Design – DaVinci Resolve – available in free and paid-for versions, with only the Studio version currently supporting 10-bit GH5 footage by including the necessary codecs.
“I hasten to inform you that I was very lucky! I ended up in the team of beta testers Color Finale 1.7 and it’s really amazing product.
I’m not a colorist at all, quite the contrary! But even I managed to make a quick and acceptable color correction in Color Finale 1.7
– HSL Curves
– Rewritten Color Wheels with better response
– New LUT Gallery
– Export LUTs
– CDL Import/Export
– Undo is rewritten
– Lots of bugs fixed ( some added)
If you are interested – you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and offer to become a beta tester. Hurry to try, release soon!
And yes — upgrade from previous version is for FREE!”
A number of Panasonic Lumix GH5 owners using Final Cut Pro X with LUT loading plug-ins have reported varying LUT interpretation results with 8-bit and 10-bit footage. The problem involves clamping or lowering the footage superwhites after LUTs have been applied.
High whites are well-preserved in GH5 V-Log 10-bit 4:2:2 footage with Leeming LUT One applied in Premiere Pro, before and after
So far the specific causes of this problem, and its permanent solution, have not been 100% identified, but it may be useful to share a list of the free and paid-for LUT plug-ins and related software that are currently available. If the cause resides in one or more specific LUT plug-ins, then it may be wise to try out others on the list below.
Meanwhile Premiere Pro itself has some problems with correctly supporting 8-bit and 10-bit GH5 footage and Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve colour grading software-cum-NLE also seems to incorrectly clamp super whites after LUTs have been applied.
LUT and colour grading plug-ins, and applications
Chromatic – currently undergoing development, CoreMelt’s Chromatic color grading plug-in is their “all in one color grading plugin that combines curves, color wheels, tracked masks, inside-outside mask grades, selective color correction, LUT loading and management and degrain, regrain all in one tool.”
ScopeBox – professional scopes application for macOS computers, that allows feeding video from a range of DIT tools and Adobe video software as well as Final Cut Pro X into ScopeBox via ScopeLink. ScopeBox maker divergent media says that “the scopes found in most desktop editing applications leave a lot to be desired – they’re not accurate, they’re slow, and they’re not configurable”.
The crux of the problem and a workaround
Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One describes the problem as follows. The LUTs from his unified, corrective LUT system are “designed to maximize dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec. 709 starting point for further creative colour grading”.
The Leeming LUT One system provides “the best possible settings to maximise dynamic range and image quality for that camera, while minimising noise and other unwanted artefacts”. Thus the system’s LUTs are “designed to work with the full float levels of the video clips as they come out of camera”.
“Some cameras stop at 100 IRE, but others such as Panasonic and Sony retain superwhite up to 109 IRE (usually), so my LUTs are designed around that limit, not the 100 IRE limit,” Mr Leeming says.
He offers one potential workaround, until LUT plug-ins are updated to support float space. “The easiest temporary solution is to adjust IRE for clips to fall within 0-100 IRE, then apply the LUT, as in theory the distribution of values in float space should be the same. That should avoid clipping”.
Mr Leeming notes that he designs Leeming LUT One in Premiere Pro which “handles superwhites with the LUT directly” and “no need to pull down exposure” and was “not aware that there were programs which didn’t pull down superwhites or lift superblacks”.
A more permanent solution
Roger Bolton of CoreMelt, developer of Chromatic and LUTx, has further insights into the problem and its solution:
A LUT is defined in the color ranges 0-1 in float with 1 being defined as the highest legal level (100 IRE). You can stretch the LUT out to handle the additional levels but that’s changing the look of the LUT if it was designed on legal levels. There’s not really a “correct” solution that I’m aware of, so how a LUT loader should handle this is something that needs flexibility.
As Chromatic is currently under development, Mr Bolton says that “we plan to allow a few different ways of dealing with the issue” and has asked users to send him their requests. He states that LUTx will be updated to handle superwhites and Chromatic will also handle them when released.
CoreMelt has released Chromatic and its is available as a 14-day free trial or as a special launch offer for one week only, closing at Pacific Standard Time (PST) 7th August 2017. The special offer contains Chromatic and over 150 LUTs.